The 2014 Winter Olympics is over. Contentious public opinion over who deserved or should have won the gold Olympic medal in women’s figure skating is no longer the top news story on my Facebook newsfeed. And while the world watched the Olympics come to a close, the political situation in Ukraine worsened…now into Crimea.
The world can be an unsettling place, filled with triumph and struggles, depending on whom you talk to on any given day, such as lives lost in Syria, Ukraine, and even those who have lost loved ones to cancer that transcends beyond geopolitical lines.
Yet new life is formed everyday. Several friends are either having their first (or third) child, and so I thought it would be nice to send something handmade to celebrate the upcoming birth of their child into this world.
Making Your Own Bias Tape
As this was my first time sewing a blanket, I figured it would be a nice introduction to making my own bias tape. There are so many benefits to using bias tape. My favorite reason is that it reduces bulk when hemming or finishing off your sewing project. I have read several tutorials online and in books, but my favorite would have to be Dana Willard’s tutorial because she introduced a product that makes bias taping such a cinch.
If you like the fabrics used for this tutorial, here is detailed information about the fabric that was used to make bias tape:
Jo-Ann Fabrics, “Pink Srcl Floral” Fabric” – bias tape shown in example above, Item #:400126114481.
Jo-Ann Fabrics, “Tile Red” Fabric” – bias tape shown in pictures further down below, Item #: 400120032408.
Sewing a Flannel Receiving Blanket
Once that was complete, the blanket came next. Since many of our friends are having girls, I thought I’d go totally pink with a enlarged houndstooth design (Jo-Ann Fabrics Item #: 400127586522) and chevron, of course. Geometrical patterns seem to be all the rage right now. Take a look at this hot pink Carter’s flannel receiving blanket set available at Babies R Us and compare it to the gray and pink fabric available at Jo-Ann Fabrics.
If you shop around your local fabric store, you may find something similar that fits your friend’s style or gift giving needs. On the first pair of flannel blankets, I pivoted bias tape at right angle corners.
They turned out okay, but I realized I could have made them better with a couple of improvements:
1. Sounds intuitive, but make sure to cut straight edges, so that the bias tape edging matches when the blanket is folded.
2. Sew corners with rounded corners instead of right angles. To do that, check what I did below:
Sewing my first sets of flannel receiving blankets were a good lesson on how to sew with bias tape. I hope that my friends are gracious enough to enjoy wrapping their beloved bundle of joy with all the imperfections.
And finally, as we live in an imperfect world, let’s hope and pray for political and diplomatic resolution in Ukraine, Syrians refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon, and those in our local community who could use a little love and hope today. Let’s wrap them in prayer like we would with the same kind of care and love for a newborn coming into the world.
From my hometown to yours,